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Thread: concrete counter top finish

  1. #1
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    Default concrete counter top finish

    i'm making my outdoor grilling table to house my flat top griddle and my big green egg. i'm making concrete counter tops to go on there and was wondering about sealers. there's plenty of advertised sealers, but i'm also seeing tung oil as a good option. anyone used and concrete sealers and have an opinion?

    i offer up some pics to the alter of bilge advice.


    test fitting the griddle base


    first concrete top pour


  2. #2
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Where’s Duncan? Duncan! Help!

    Peace,
    He Knows

  3. #3
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Thread drift. For a while, my FIL was remodeling houses, and he saved a great number of gas ranges. For a while, he took old gas grill frames, and converted them to outdoor ranges, complete with tile and all.

    They are the best thing for camping. A rolling range. Take THAT, two burner briefcase!

    Peace,
    Robert

  4. #4
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    i'm leaning towards the tung oil finish. but if anyone knows of a reason to NOT use it, let me know. i'm pretty against a poly finish

  5. #5
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    How'd you do the pour?
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  6. #6
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Take a look at Heritage Natural Finishes. https://www.heritagenaturalfinishes.com/

    Excellent products and if you don't see exactly what you want, give them a call. The company is small enough that they can do custom formulations.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    FWIW - I've built a couple of outdoor concrete tops for clients. I used a sealer called Granite Gold - which is what my friend in the stone countertop biz uses for both granite and concrete. It's wet, and smells nice.

    Seems to work fine, requiring only a renewal each Spring. But I don't know enough about the alternatives to know if this actually is the best choice.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Is that an epoxy based product?
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  9. #9
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Don’t be weak, Alan. Garage floor epoxy, with sprinkles thrown in. Multi colored sprinkles.

    Peace,
    Robert

  10. #10
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish


  11. #11
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Polyurethane and acrylic are the two most common, polyurethane is likely the better choice.
    Nosce te ipsum

  12. #12
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
    How'd you do the pour?

    made an inverted mold and poured 5000 psi concrete in with wire half way up. then peeled the mold off. that way i didn't have to rely on my lack of concrete finishing skills.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanMc View Post
    made an inverted mold and poured 5000 psi concrete in with wire half way up. then peeled the mold off. that way i didn't have to rely on my lack of concrete finishing skills.
    You did vibrate the bejeebus out of it, too, right?

    Peace,
    Robert

  14. #14
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    Polyurethane and acrylic are the two most common, polyurethane is likely the better choice.
    One would think. Because epoxy - while tough - is much too prone to UV degradation.

    One question to be answered (with any finish really) is -- do you want something that mostly is penetrating the porosity and drying... or something with more solids, that builds a slight film?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    I notice some crack in front of sink where its thin.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    You did vibrate the bejeebus out of it, too, right?

    Peace,
    Robert

    oh yeah. it still has a few tiny air bubble spots, but honestly i wanted some. and actually, there was way less that i thought. in general it turnout out better than expected for my first concrete counter pour. it's wet in that picture so it looks dark gray, but it's light gray/whiteish when dry. i think if i use the tung oil it'll darken a good bit and look more like the wet version.

    the sealant for me is less about stain avoidance and more about staying wet and getting mildew on it. i would think the tung oil would repel the water well enough to do good at both though.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbys View Post
    I notice some crack in front of sink where its thin.


    there's no cracks dammitt!

    and that's not a sink hole, that's where the big green egg goes.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    I did a rock wall I have some of the stuff somewhere that works, you gave to go to a Mason supply store and ask, nothing else works then what you can buy there.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbys View Post
    I notice some crack in front of sink where its thin.
    A common failing. One really needs to get reinforcement into those locations. Without it - the concrete itself doesn't have much strength. I don't do concrete anymore - I think it was a failed experiment that had its 'moment'.

    Alan has made his choice - but really I dislike ANY hard surface countertops. Concrete, stone, tile, quartz, glass, etc. They are too unforgiving to crockery and cutting tools. And they get too hot and too cold. And outdoors - they're vulnerable to moisture intrusion and freezing.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    What about hamburger grease? Cheap and self renewing

  21. #21
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    A common failing. One really needs to get reinforcement into those locations. Without it - the concrete itself doesn't have much strength. I don't do concrete anymore - I think it was a failed experiment that had its 'moment'.

    Alan has made his choice - but really I dislike ANY hard surface countertops. Concrete, stone, tile, quartz, glass, etc. They are too unforgiving to crockery and cutting tools. And they get too hot and too cold. And outdoors - they're vulnerable to moisture intrusion and freezing.

    all of it is wire reinforced. this outdoor top won't be getting and crockery put on it and won't be used for a cutting board. it's just where i'll be setting things while i'm grilling or griddling. like beerrr... i mean cokes... and trays of food to go on the grill. not really worried about them freezing.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    What about hamburger grease? Cheap and self renewing

    hahahaha. now we're getting somewhere

  23. #23
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    What about hamburger grease? Cheap and self renewing
    Any countertop can be left unfinished. The more porous surfaces then acquire their own individual patina. In some cases, this can be fetching. But one runs the risk of them acquiring instead some startling and unlovely 'birthmark' sorta stains from the sangria or the kids grapejuice...

  24. #24
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Any countertop can be left unfinished. The more porous surfaces then acquire their own individual patina. In some cases, this can be fetching. But one runs the risk of them acquiring instead some startling and unlovely 'birthmark' sorta stains from the sangria or the kids grapejuice...

    yeah, i want the rustic patina look to it. that's one of the reasons to do the concrete instead of something like granite or tile. so far it looks pretty good. a few tiny air pockets here and there, some color fluctuations...

  25. #25
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanMc View Post
    yeah, i want the rustic patina look to it. that's one of the reasons to do the concrete instead of something like granite or tile. so far it looks pretty good. a few tiny air pockets here and there, some color fluctuations...
    Most concrete pours are pretty porous. So it is more prone to staining than most. And even if you never suffer from the wet/freeze cycle depredation... there is a less severe cycle of wet/extreme heat. If you want it to develop a patina... you might jumpstart the process with dye - then get advice about a 'penetrative' sealer that is compatible. Not a 'surface film' sealer.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Lots of videos on youtube about polishing concrete worktops.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    I like it. Well done. I wonder if a wax finish would be good. Easy to renew. Rustic. Would mix well with cooking oils/fat. Heat would soak it in.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    I like it. Well done. I wonder if a wax finish would be good. Easy to renew. Rustic. Would mix well with cooking oils/fat. Heat would soak it in.


    i looked at the wax option and people say it can be "sticky". since this is outside, i really don't want any dust/pollen sticking to it. sucks bc i can get all the free bees wax i want.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    I do not know what I am talking about so take this for what ever it is worth, but I do know they use sodium silicate for something in cement work.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  30. #30
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanMc View Post
    i looked at the wax option and people say it can be "sticky". since this is outside, i really don't want any dust/pollen sticking to it. sucks bc i can get all the free bees wax i want.
    And, sadly, beeswax - while smelling deliciously good - would be one of the stickiest. Also - wax provides very little protection.
    Last edited by David G; 08-09-2019 at 11:34 AM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Pretty impressive project.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  32. #32
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby of Tulsa View Post
    I do not know what I am talking about so take this for what ever it is worth, but I do know they use sodium silicate for something in cement work.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    It is also called water glass, I think it glazes the concrete and ruined many a cooling system in old cars in the 40s and 50s trying to patch cracked blocks.
    "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well.)

  34. #34
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish


  35. #35
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    Default Re: concrete counter top finish

    I've done numerous concrete counter tops although all were for interior use. All the counter surfaces in my home are concrete. I grind and polish them after sufficient cure. I also fill the tiny air holes before sealing. I've used both 511 Impregnator Sealer by Miracle Sealants and Aqua Mix by Custom Building Products. Both are available at Home Depot. There may very likely be better products available now. I'm out of the business so I don't keep up.

    I would avoid any sort of film finish. Never heard of using tung oil on concrete although I suppose it might work. But tung oil is a marginal finish on wood so why would it be good for concrete?

    In any case, I'd think a cover of some sort would be good advisable outdoors. Birds flying over might likely drop some nasty bombs onto your food prep area. Not so nice.

    Avoid acids: lemon, wine, vinegar, etc. They'll eat the cement.

    Jeff

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